Featured in a sympathetic profile in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, CNBC host Jim Cramer reminisces about the rhetorical beat-down he took at the hands of Jon Stewart when the two famously clashed on The Daily Show back in March of 2009. (Well, Stewart clashed. Cramer just kind of sat there and took it.)
From the Times piece [emphasis added]:
Cramer was especially incensed by what he saw as the political unfairness behind Stewart's attack. “They wanted to make me the Face of the Era, and they succeeded. Rick Santelli's a conservative. Ideological. O.K., I get that. But me? I was very anti-Bush. I'm a Democrat, I've got the canceled checks to prove it, and suddenly I'm the enemy? Me? Me?”
Today, Cramer can't figure out why he ever became the target of liberal wrath like the kind he faced from Stewart. After all, Cramer's a Democrat.
Regardless of his party affiliation, the fact is that just weeks into President Obama's first term, Cramer took to the airwaves to denounce the new president as a possible communist and warned investors that Obama and his Democratic administration were destroying wealth in America.
So maybe that's why Cramer became an appealing target of the left.
And don't believe me about Cramer's wildly irresponsible rhetoric in 2009? As Media Matters detailed at the time, Cramer repeatedly characterized Obama and Democrats as Russian communists, claiming Obama was "taking cues from Lenin." Cramer also used terms such as “Bolshevik,” “Marx,” “comrades,” “Soviet,” “Winter Palace,” and “Politburo” to describe Democrats.
It was Cramer who appeared on NBC's Today and attacked Obama's “radical agenda” and claimed it was “the most, greatest wealth destruction I've seen by a president.” He also claimed that under Obama, “no stocks can be considered truly free from danger” and warned viewers to “Obama-proof that portfolio -- like bomb-proof.”
CNBC news anchor Melissa Francis announced she wouldn't vote for Obama's stimulus package. Host Joe Kernen mocked Obama as having been “hijacked by those -- the crazy -- by [Nancy] Pelosi, by [Harry] Reid” and described Obama's budget as “far left.” During the same segment, reporter Carl Quintanilla said of Obama's budget, “There is some social engineering going on.” Kernen also falsely claimed that Obama had promised to eliminate earmarks.
Basically, in early 2009, CNBC, as an all-business news organization, lost its collective mind and after eight years of mostly sleep-walking through the Bush years, awoke from its slumber to declare it was Democrats who had trashed the economy and Democrats who were ruining your investments.
That's the programming call CNBC made then. But looking back, Cramer can't understand why a liberal like Stewart was so mean to him on TV.